American Math Competitions are fun but not easy at all. It is always a humbling experience as there is no such thing as an easy AMC. Most (if not all) problems in the AMCs are something that you have not seen before and you have to solve 25 problems in 75 minutes. AMC10 is mainly taken by the students who are in 9th or 10th grade and some younger grades participate as well.
Both of these tests can be found here.
I didn’t do great on AMC 10A. I got stuck on problem #10 and spent way too long trying to solve it, eventually skipping it. The same happened for problem 16 and 17. This frustrated me and even though I solved 18,19, and 20; I lost the momentum and overall only solved 17 problems as I ran out of time. I came home very disappointed in myself but decided to still keep positive attitude and promised myself to manage time better on AMC 10B.
This time 10B was within a few days of 10A so you really cannot prepare a lot more in a week. I did much better in 10B and kept a healthy pace as I moved along the problems. I did not get stuck on any problem fortunately and I was able to solve 23, out of which I got 22 correct.
The biggest lesson I learnt was to not get discouraged and give up after 10A and still go with a positive attitude and mindset for 10B. Only top 2.5% of all AMC 10 applicants get qualified for the next round (AIME) which can be frustrating for the 97.5% of the test takers. My advice is to practice as many problems as you can when you have free time throughout the year. The more tools you have at your disposal, the better you will do in these contests. However, these contests are not easy and if you don’t do well on one of them then practice more and you will do better next time. For girls who qualify for AIME, they also tend to get invited for Math Prize for Girls at MIT.